When Dan Shipp and his brothers purchased Spanky’s Roadhouse in 1991 Denver’s restaurant scene was very different from today. The local bar & restaurant was one of a few places to go in the DU neighborhood and attracted mostly college students and faculty. “In 1991 there were only a couple places to go, now there are a dozen casual places,” said Dan. Spanky’s quickly became known as a “DU bar” where college students would go on weekends.Spanky's Roadhouse

But as Denver started to become more and more of a “transplant city” Spanky’s began to notice a shift in its clientele, “we cater to families, students, everybody” explained Dan. The new customers began asking for small changes and shortly after Spanky’s decided it needed to revamp the place. It opened up the space by knocking down a few walls, added garage doors that open up to a covered, open-air patio and changed the menu to include more entrees, burgers and salads.

All of Spanky’s beef is grass-fed, the veggies are cut fresh daily and it even offers the Impossible Burger and a paleo bowl along with several salads, sandwiches and soups. Overall, the burger selection is better than ever with six signature burgers including the famous Porky and five roadhouse classic burgers like the Black & Blue and southwest and the huge “monster burgers.” You can also build your own with either a quarter pound or a half pound of Colorado hormone-free beef or all natural chicken breast, seven different cheeses and a plethora of mouth-watering toppings. There are even gluten-free and lettuce bun options for those who want to switch it up or have dietary restrictions.

Spanky's Roadhouse

If brunch is your jam there are several new items on that menu as well. The red velvet pancakes, Hangover Helper and Tennessee hot chicken Benedict are a few new favorites in addition to the traditional selection of hashes, omlettes and crepes.

Happy Hour is from 3-6 p.m. and on weekends the brunch menu includes bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for just $11. The decadent milkshakes that Spanky’s is known for are still on the menu too. Now there are over 19 different ingredients to customize your own or choose from their signature shakes including Cinnamon Toast Crunch and chocolate chip peanut butter. “We want to keep the food fresh and interesting for our guests, but we also want them to know that they can always find their old favorites here,” explained Chef Justin Adrian.

Spanky's Roadhouse

As the Denver restaurant scene continues to expand, so do the projects of Spanky’s parent company — Roadhouse Hospitality Group. The group recently partnered with Great Divide Brewing to open up a brewery and eatery in Castle Rock. The new spot will add to the group’s growing list of restaurants in Denver, Boulder, Keystone and Eagle County.

Spanky’s Roadhouse is located at 1800 E Evans Ave, Denver. Monday- Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

All photography by Lauren DeFilippo.